Dr Lori Anderson

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Leadership (Healthcare)

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Research interests

Most recently, my research interests have included the use of literature to engage students in dialogue about structural privilege and discrimination. Structural privilege and direct and structural discrimination can be both intellectually challenging and emotionally charged topics for many learners. Addressing these concepts directly risks learners distancing themselves from the ideas by over-intellectualizing them or accessing powerful personal experiences too quickly for which the classroom is ill equipped to address. Using literature to engage learners in dialogue about structural privilege and discrimination can mitigate both of these risks and result in rich and transformative learning that respects a range of lived experiences with structural privilege and direct and structural discrimination. For colleagues that choose to use my novel in their teaching, as long as my capacity allows, I offer to support their teaching with a guest lecture.

My research interests also include issues that arise at the intersection of public and private governance, with special emphasis on the institutional and managerial implications of policy and regulation for leading organizations. I investigate the concept of inherently governmental, the notion of what governments must do, may do, and must not do. The concept of inherently governmental activity addresses the relationship between the public and private sectors. Most recently, I have been considering idea of inherently governmental from an international and organizational perspective.

I also consider a theme of management paradigms and David Bohm’s concepts of discussion and dialogue as organizational communication mechanisms throughout my research. As defined by Bohm and Peat (2000), there is a distinction between discussion and dialogue. In discussion, participants present and defend their fixed views. Relying on the work of psychiatrist Patrick de Mare’, Bohm and Peat discuss dialogue as a free flow of meaning between people. (Bohm and Peat 2000)  In contrast to discussion, participants in dialogue listen to understand. Each participant watches for and exposes his or her own assumptions, as well as the assumptions and biases of the other participants. The goal of dialogue is to identify values and examine them. Participants expose and suspend their own and others’ positions so that all points of view and their underlying assumptions and values may be explored for their meaning. By engaging in this suspension, exposition, and examination of varying points of view, dialogue creates the cognitive space where creative and innovative solutions can arise. Therefore, dialogue is about more than an examination of the various positions present at the start of the process, its great value is the creation of new possibilities, not originally present at the start of the communication. The spirit of dialogue, then, is to hold multiple views in suspension, while also seeking to create a common meaning. The dialogue itself is more important that the outcome of the dialogue. In other words, no point of view is worth holding at the cost of ending the dialogue.  Bohm and Peat refer to this as unity in plurality.  Understanding and creativity are the outcomes of dialogue and dialogue generates meaning and learning. (Bohm and Peat 2000; Nichol 2003)

Finally, my earlier research considers issues relating to E-government and E-democracy. While this stream of research has waned in western arenas it continues internationally and my publications and those with my co-authors continue to be read and cited. I remain in dialogue with international colleagues conducting research in this area and find the directions this field is going fascinating.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display